Dexter honors retiring teachers

Friday, May 7, 2010
Dexter School educators retiring at the conclusion of the current school year were honored Thursday at the Bearcat Event Center. They are (standing) Dr. Denny Jarrell, Dr. Ken Jackson and Kent Polsgrove. Seated are Susan Hill, Julie Lancaster, and Rhonda Stuever. Not present is Jane Cathey. Photo by Noreen Hyslop.

Nearly two centuries of experience will leave the halls of Dexter Schools in May as seven veteran teachers conclude their educational careers within the Dexter School System.

The retirees gathered Thursday afternoon at the Bearcat Event Center as their families, fellow educators and the community paid tribute to their years of service.

Dr. Ken Jackson, stepping down from the helm as superintendent, has spent nearly 29 years in the education field. He has served as local superintendent for the past seven years. He began his career teaching and coaching basketball in the Bloomfield School District, where he served for seven years, before arriving at Dexter. A total of 21 and a half years have been spent in the local system in a number of roles that included, assistant principal at T.S. Hill Middle School, then principal there, administrative assistant to the superintendent, assistant superintendent and superintendent.

Dr. Denny Jarrell's entire 21-year career in education has been in the local school system. Jarrell began teaching in 1989 as a seventh grade science instructor at T.S. Hill Middle School. There he also served as Middle School boys basketball coach. He has also served in the capacity of director of technology, director of food services, director of federal programs, curriculum coordinator, director of continuing education, personnel director, MSIP/CSIP director, safety coordinator, and director of elementary education. For the past seven years, Jarrell has served the Dexter School district as assistant superintendent.

Kent Polsgrove, another lifetime educator, will also join the ranks of the retired in just a few days. Polsgrove has the distinction of having spent more years in education than any of his fellow retirees. He leaves the field of education with 33 years in the classroom and in administrative roles. He currently serves as administrative assistant. In that capacity, Polsgrove directs the food service program, transportation, and all federal programs.

Polsgrove spent one year early in his career teaching and coaching in Montgomery County followed by 12 years at Caruthersville Schools. He initially filled the position of assistant principal at T.S. Hill Middle School and was later named as principal. After six years in that position, he began his duties in the administrative assistant role.

Susan Hill is retiring after 29 years as a speech/language pathologist. Hill is a 1970 DHS graduate herself and spent two years at Wright City as that district's first speech pathologist before a four-year stint in the North Kansas City School District. She settled back in her hometown in the mid-1980s and began her 23 years serving in the local school system in 1987. She retires from Southwest Elementary.

Rhonda Stuever will be leaving the halls of DHS this year after spending 30 years teaching high school English at the sophomore level. She began her career in Farmington High School, having taught there just one year before coming to Dexter. Stuever has a history of sponsoring the high school Speech/Debate Team, and has also served the district directing the Cadet Teacher Program at DHS for many years.

With the exception of four years spent at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Julie Lancaster has spent every year since she was five years old in a classroom in Dexter Schools. A DHS graduate, she returned home after earning her education degree and was hired to teach in the area of special services at Southwest Elementary School. She later moved to Central Elementary, where she has remained teaching in a learning disabilities setting. She will retire this year after teaching for 29 years in Dexter Schools.

Jane Cathey completes the list of local educator retirees as she steps down from her role as director of the Stoddard County Alternative School this year. Cathey served the district for several years substitute teaching before taking a full time position at the Alternative School in Bloomfield, en entity of Dexter Schools. She previously worked within the school system as a classroom aide in several capacities, accepting a teacher role at the Alternative School in 2000. She took on the role of director at the facility in 2008 and with the conclusion of this year, she will have completed 20 years teaching in the school system.

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